Off for a week

I’m taking a brief break from writing daily blog posts. I’ve been under a bit of stress lately, and forcing out the daily posts has resulted in a drop in quality that I’m not quite willing to put up with. So…I’m gonna take a week off, recharge my batteries. Maybe do some of the other writing that I’ve been neglecting. See you all in a week, and thanks for reading! -Randy

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Methods From No Manual

Everyone should have a vision of what they want out of martial arts training. It’s one of those rare things in life that you have a modicum of control over. You can lose your job, your family, wealth, reputation, home…uproot your entire life and start over, and you can still follow your dream of martial arts excellence. It’s such an essential human endeavor that it can match all the seasons of a life. It can teach an adolescent co-ordination to cope with growth spurts, a youth the value of sportsmanship and confidence, an adult can find respite from the stress…fulfillment in the depths that come from constant refinement of skill, the mature can reap the benefits of years of experience to teach, and the aged can use the lifetime of training to find new mysteries to explore in life. I’ve had the opportunity to have it all and lose it…

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Movement and Building the Coiled Spring

Class before last I was without a partner, and watching the rest of the students go through a drill. I couldn’t stop bouncing. I was full of energy…already past the first hour of heavy work, but still raring to go. It wasn’t excess energy or tension that I was trying to release. It was just a feeling that standing still was a little stupid. It didn’t feel like rest, to be still. It felt like it took work…It was easier to bounce. More soothing, more natural. Which is an odd way to feel, considering I am an overweight forty-four and bit year old man, more than two years past my expiry date, at least according to the arthritis doc who is probably still sitting behind his comfy desk. To his timeline, I would now be barely able to lift my arm, never mind my sword. I enjoyed myself last night,…

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A look behind the doors

If we had doors to hide behind, anyways… Putting together the first promo clip for the Valkyrie WMA Assembly was a bit of a challenge. Our camera has been busy. I leave it on a table at the side of class, and encourage students to take a few shots if they are sitting out or taking a break. Since December, I’ve downloaded over four thousand shots from the camera, and a few dozen videos. None of us are photographers, so it takes a few hundred shots to do what a pro could do in one or two… I still had to make some decisions about what to showcase. It would nice to share some of the workout. Lots of people ask about our boxing, and the 5×5 drill, so it would be nice to show that as well. I could show off the drills and detail work of the students,…

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Token Resistance

No secret that people like to talk about my blog posts, and not so surprising that some people really dislike them. Recently, in a discussion elsewhere about one of my posts, someone wrote an off-hand comment that I assumed was directed at me, to the effect that people shouldn’t listen to someone who chooses to write blog posts instead of actually training. I assumed it was written with me in mind, since I do write a lot, and post some of it. It doesn’t matter to me so much, because my hope is that there will be other people writing as much as me in the future. But thinking about those other writers, and what such comments mean, got me thinking. We, as WMA/HEMA/SMA(Superior Martial Arts) practitioners, are supposed to look down on such atrocities as modern sport fencing. It is obviously wrong, and opposed to all that we stand…

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Broken Lances and the Children of Hell

There were about seventy five people on the field, and after the sides settled out, we had about a third the number of the other side. We had a slight edge in experienced fighters, and it was one of my only opportunities to actually be in charge of the troops. I’d been hitting the history books in preparation, looking for tactics that might translate to our situation. I found a pretty good one. It depended on some oddities of the human mind. People don’t do what they should in group fights. Outnumbering us, they should have just swarmed us into oblivion. Sure, we would have killed some of them, but probably not many. And they would have handily won the battle. But people don’t think that way. If they did, we wouldn’t have to train soldiers, would we? People tend to cluster together, and wait for someone else to do…

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